RYAN PHELAN, founder and CEO of DNA Direct, a company that provides direct-to-consumer genetic testing and related consumer oriented genomic services.
Phelan has been a strong consumer health advocate for the past 25 years, having started the first medical library for consumers in 1978. As Founding Director of Planetree, a nonprofit consumer health care organization, she helped create a national model for humanizing hospitals, and a national model for providing health information to the public, the Planetree Resource Center.
In 1995 she founded Direct Medical Knowledge (DMK). DMK was an extensive consumer health web site highly regarded for its unique content depth and innovative search interface. DMK developed proprietary software that enabled users to drill down through the most current medical literature and retrieve personalized health and medical information. As CEO of DMK, Ms. Phelan forged alliances with major medical institutions, national health care plans, publishers, and consumer groups. In 1999 Direct Medical Knowledge was acquired by WebMD, a leader in the Internet health information industry. DMK's content became the backbone of WebMD's consumer health site.
She is a co-founder of the ALL Species Foundation, a global science initiative to discover all life on Earth in the next 25 years. In 2002, Phelan served as CEO for the ALL Species Foundationand continues her involvement today by serving on the Governing Board of Directors.